I thought it would be interesting to post my rendering of the vote about whether or not to retain Simchat Torah in the Reform Synod at Frankfurt in 1845.
The background is, of course, that the Reform rabbis were trying to implement liturgical reforms, to modernize the services, to both attract people and avoid repelling them, and do it in a way that was consistent both in Reform theory and in practice. So in this, the second of three such assemblies, held in Frankfurt A.M. between July 15 and 28, 1845, many questions were discussed.
As part of the process of reforming, modernizing and streamlining services, the assembly had approved of implementing a Triennial cycle of reading the Torah. This would of course have the effect of shortening the Torah reading by one third which is something that people who look forward to Parshat Nitzavim can understand. Old sources showed that in ge'onic times (and later) the Torah was read and completed every three years, while our custom of reading it in one year, and celebrating Simchat Torah on the second day of Shemini Atzeret arose in Babylonia. The question therefore was, should Simchat Torah be celebrated only every three years? Or annually? Or at all? Here is what they said:
12th Question, 23 July
President: Since the majority are in favor of the Triennial cycle for reading the Torah, a question arises: Can the second day of Schemini Atzereth, which until now was the day when the end of the Torah was read, and the Torah reading completed, be maintained? It was pointed out that the Torah describes the entire Sukkot as zeman simchoteinu, a time of joy, so as the Torah was the greatest joy of Israel, celebrating it as Simchath Torah was very suitable.
A vote was requested, and here is is along with each rabbi's comments:
Salomon: In the Hamburg Temple they celebrated Simchat Torah once every three years.
Wechsler: Simchat Torah doesn't only signify that the Torah was ended, but is also a memorial to the great teacher Moses; the festival can be seen this way as well. (He is referring to the fact that we read of Moshe's death, with all of his accompanying praises on S"T.)
Maier: Simchat Torah has the character of Yom Tov Sheini Shel Shemini Atzeret. This is when we read Vezot Habracha. (I guess he means to point out that it is the second day of Yom Tov and, hello, we are supposed to be against it.)
It moves to a vote.
Jolowicz: We should read Vezot Habracha once every three years,
Lowengard: Likewise. Simchat Torah is unimportant as a memorial for Moses. This only comes as a consequence of reading Vezot Habracha.
Einhorn: Read it every three years.
Kahn: If we should read Vezot Habracha each year then we're guilty of inconsistency in theory. We should not say that the festival is a celebration of the Siyum.
Philippson: Vezot Habracha should be read every three years. We already have a festival of joy for our possession of the Torah; Shavuot.
A. Adler: Likewise. We should not allow a new dichotomy between teaching and life.
Süsskind: Likewise. The commemoration of Moses' death only developed from the reading of Vezot Habracha.
Treunfels: Read Vezot Habracha yearly.
Ben Israel: Likewise.
S. Adler: I abstain from voting.
Hoffmann: Read Vezot Habracha yearly.
Güldenstein: Every three years.
Herrheimer: Every three years.
Hess: Yearly, because otherwise the communities would be opposed.
Wechsler: Yearly, in memory of Moses, as long as Yom Tov Sheini is maintained.
Geiger: Yearly, because otherwise you'd have to look for something new to lein for the day. Simchat Torah has importance as the final day of the festivals.
Maier: Every three years.
Salomon: Every three years.
Herzfeld: Yearly, the festival was celebrated, as the president specified, because of the spiritual joy, and not for the reading of Vezot Habracha.
Holdheim: Simchat Torah, as a day of significance arose late. In the original prayers it is not called as such. Only in the Piyutim is it called this. I therefore agree to reading Vezot Habracha every three years. However, the day as a memorial to Moses should be kept as long as Yom Tov Sheini is.
Formstecher: Every three years. A memorial for the death of Moses is appropriate on 7 Adar. The Rejoicing of the Law is, as noted by Philippson, Shavuot. Rejoicing will still bring the people in. As it is, those who read the Torah the most are the least joyful, and those who are more forward-looking read the Torah the least.
Gosen: Yearly. You can read Vezot Habracha again, just as other lessons from the law are repeated [=from time to time]. (i.e., even with a three year cycle)
Jost abstains from voting. His personal opinion would be that the rabbis should not rob the people of a joyful celebration. But when joy comes about through inappropriate ways that harm the dignity of worship, the thing to do is to direct a nobler attitude in a better direction. (I am not sure why this is in the third person - perhaps they failed to transcribe his exact words. I think this means that he thinks that Simchas Torah excesses are not good, true, but the rabbis should not do away with it, but rather influence the people to celebrate it in a joyful, but more dignified manner.)
Hirsch: Every three years. Simchat Torah is only a siyum (=conclusion to the Torah). Cannot sanction giving it a new meaning. We have made the decision for a three year cycle, and we have to take the consequences that come with it.
Conclusion: For the Triennial reading of Vezot Habracha and Bereischit we have 16, for the yearly reading we have ten. Three abstentions.
President: I request that the Assembly also decide whether to retain the reading with the traditonal neginah (melody)...
 I just wanted to end with a little arcane note. I've recently been re-reading The Making of a Godol by Rabbi Nathan Kamenetsky and he included something in a note that, in part, inspired this post (which was also inspired, in the other part, by a good friend). Here is the note (p. 194):
As you can see, Rabbi Kamenetsky saw fit to add a small conclusion that he made, as we who make conclusions are wont to do. In his research he read of the Reform synods. Naturally most sources call "Frankfurt" simply "Frankfurt," even though in Germany there are two cities by that name. He happened to notice that the Encylopedia Judaica says that the Frankfurt synod was held in Frankfurt-am-Main, but he believes this is an error, because both Brunswick and Breslau are in eastern Germany. Frankfurt A.M., a major German metropolis, is in Central, maybe you can even say Western Germany, while Frankfurt-am-Oder is a small city in the east. So it makes sense that if two of the synods were in the eastern part of Germany, also the third.
The reasoning is sound, but however, there are many ways in which we can verify this, such as by reading the title page of the published proceedings of the synod, where we see plainly that it was in Frankfurt A.M., no matter the direction.
And even without such a proceeding, there would of course be other ways of verifying. Contemporary newspaper reports and other sources. Here's another example. This is the title page to Rabbi S. J. Rapoport (Shir)'s work against Reform, written in direct response to the Frankfurt synod:
As you can see, he addressed his remarks to the assembly of rabbis in Frankfurt-am-Main. Lest one think that maybe he, in Prague was mistaken, this was not only an open letter that may or may not have been sent to the assembly itself, but inside Rapoport also includes a letter he literally sent directly to the synod (dated 10 Tammuz/ July 15, the first day of the assembly).
In any case, my point is not to make a big deal about a wrong conjecture but to highlight the fact that there is a time and place for thinking very intently and cleverly about something and for just looking something up, or at least attempting to verify a conjecture from information that is readily available. Only in the absence of such information should one fill in the gap with a well-reasoned conjecture.
Finally, I wanted to reproduce a great phrase from this book. Rapoport, in his letter to Jost, is deploring the fact that Reform threatens to tear the Jewish people apart, and so he refers to the fact that the Protestant Reformation did just that to the Christians in Europe. He writes that it isn't as if one split will happen and then that's it. No, after one sect emerges from the main group, then new sects dissent from those and so on, such as what happened with "איזה דיססענטערס בבריטאניא."